At a time when collective cooperation in the South Asian body, SAARC, is stalled due to the indifference of Pakistan, the bonhomie between India and Bangladesh has become necessary not only for the region but also for cooperation in the Indian Ocean rim and in bodies like BIMSTEC that connects South Asia to the ASEAN countries. Connectivity between the two countries can help in the prosperity and development of India’s remote north-eastern states. As the operationalisation of Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) for movement of goods and passengers between member countries is delayed, both the countries have agreed to work towards a bilateral India-Bangladesh Motor Vehicle Agreement. Similar arrangements can be made between member countries which are willing and ready.
Terming the new relations between the two neighbours, the India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said it is a “Sonali Adhyay”. This new bond is likely to transcend the strategic relationship if both sides are sincere in implementing the new accord with determination. It is not just about connectivity but all round cooperation.
Ashok B Sharma